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Friday, August 29, 2008

Ligularia - August Bloomers

In late August there are two kinds of Ligularia blooming in my garden. Ligularia dentata 'Britt Marie Crawford' has a deep purple foliage that looks fantastic even without blooms.

While the yellow flowers aren't the prettiest flowers in my garden, during these dog days of summer they are very welcome.

This is the same spot just zooming out a bit. It's taken at least five years for this clump of Ligularia to grow this big. I think they could grow faster if given better soil but there's quite a bit of root competition in this spot from my neighbor's trees.

Ligularia's need a fair amount of shade and lots of water to perform well or even survive. If you have a choice, choose the shade of a tree that has deep roots instead of shallow roots like the Norway Maple my neighbor has let seed all over.

Three years ago I noticed something interesting when weeding near 'Britt Marie Crawford'. There were a few seedlings growing with that distinctive leaf. Some were more purple than others, I weeded out the less purple ones and left the deep purple ones to grow. (By the way, the lighter green seedling will grow up to be a beautiful foxglove.)

This week I've noticed a half dozen or so seedlings popping up. You can bet I'm going to be careful when weeding around here.

The seedlings are not the same as the mother plant. They have different degree's of purple coloration but I'm not such a snob that I'd turn my nose up and ask them to leave.

Over on the other end of the same border is Ligularia dentata 'Othello'. In this first shot you can see a leaf that's been burned by too much sun and not enough water.

This particular plant has been a trooper, hanging on in a spot that the sprinkler doesn't really reach well. For that reason I forgive the few leaves that look like this.

You can see here, it's easy to just snip off the offending leaf if you feel the need.

As always, when you want a plant to reseed in your garden, you need to put up with those dead or dying blooms. Leave them be, let them dry out and they will scatter the seeds for you. You can also take the dried blooms and scatter the seeds yourself but I prefer mother nature to do the job for me. Once the seedlings are growing it's easy to pluck out a few and move them to different parts of the garden.

This weekend is a holiday one for us here in the United States (Labor Day weekend) so I don't know yet how/when/where/ and what I'll be posting about.

Have a fantastic day!


Beth said...

Thanks for sharing the info on the Ligularia. I got a plant from a friend of mine and I didn't realize it was this late of a bloomer - I thought maybe I had killed it! Mine is on the cusp of blooming and if it looks anything like yours - that's great!

Hermes said...

An often overlooked plant, but so useful at this time of year. Glad to see it featured.

Gail said...

Ligularias are certainly striking! I remember falling for them and watching them wilt all the time, I just couldn't keep them watered enough! MY next garden!